I feel like a student when I watch the Biggest Loser- there is always a valuable lesson for me to take away if I pay attention, and last night was a perfectly timed lesson!
I am sure many people agree that getting to leave your everyday life on hold and going to a place like the Biggest Loser Ranch would seem like a dream come true. You could get up everyday and just work on reaching your goals- with all the right foods, all the right equipment at the ready, and with wonderful trainers to kick start you- and keep you- into motion. Blissful! No distractions or things to keep you from just working off the pounds. And, we have all been taught over and over again, that weight loss is a simple formula- calories in vs. calories out. Right?
Well last night's show was a real lesson that clearly showed just how difficult this journey can be- and how unpredictable- and how @*%$ %%$@# frustrating! Every contestant worked their butt off exercising all week. They did more in a week than I could do in a month. They had great trainers helping them do all the right things. I am sure there were no donuts or chocolate bunnies in the pantry for them to dive into an emotional binge. And I am sure they all had command of their calorie deficits.
Yet, when they went to weigh in, many of them were shocked, saddened and disappointed with their results. Even their trainers looked on with dismay on their faces- How could that be? They worked so hard! They did all the right things..The scale was NOT showing numbers anyone was expecting. How many times has that happened to many of us? We do it right, and the scale gets it wrong?
When faced with falling below the yellow line, though, you don't see contestants saying things like "Oh well, I'll never lose the weight- why try?" or "This doesn't work and I want to quit!" Instead, you see them crying and begging for their chance to stay at the ranch and get back to work in the morning. The contestant who goes home doesn't say "It's over"or "I can't do this" ....they go home, make necessary changes, and keep working! They don't quit!
And they end up winning- all of them. They face their disappointment at the scale, evaluate and then move confidently forward. They don't talk about quitting...and neither do I! And in the end, they transform their bodies and their lives- and so will I!
I will often complain that I am working so hard and trying so hard, yet that darn scale isn't budging. How true is that? So, I came up with a formula- very simple and unscientific- to figure it out. There are 30 days in April. There are two key components to weight loss- food intake and exercise. So, if I give myself 1 point per day for staying on my food plan, and one point per day for exercising, I could have a possible of 60 points at the end of the month. If I do one but not the other, I get one point for the day, etc. Since I love being a student, I will grade myself on a grade scale where 90% is an A, 80% is a B, 70% is a C, 60% is a D, and anything under that is a FAIL. So, in order to get an "A" grade, I can only lose 6 points- meaning that in a month, I can only go off my eating plan or my exercise plan 6 times. If I want a "B", I can only go my plan 12 times.
This would lead to a reality check- if I tend to slack on weekends, there are 8 possible weekend points, I am already into "B" range- not an "A" effort. Now I am not saying this is something to jump off a cliff about- NOT AT ALL! It is a way to check if I am being real with myself. Do I have a grip on my effort for the week, or the month? And like last night's show showed me, even if I had 100%, the scale might not give me an A+ like I might deserve- but that DOES NOT mean it is time to quit, or that I didn't do a lot of right things! This is just a tool for me to gauge how much effort I am putting in.
In order to be successful, we need to honestly evaluate how hard we are trying and then realize that even on the Biggest Loser, there are no perfect formulas for guaranteed results on the scale! The only guarantee is that if you give up, you lose! You can't win if you don't try!
I wrote this blog because I have run across many blogs in the past few weeks about people losing heart and thinking they should give up. And although my progress has been so small, the thought of quitting was never a thought. I want this too much. I care too much. Progress is not as fast as I would like, as easy as I would have it, or even as predictable...but it is what it is! The key component to deciding if you want to keep going on this journey is "Do you feel like you are worth it? Can you win?" I say "YES!" There are more wins than a pant size or a number on the scale- feeling better, developing strength, knowing you can set a goal ( walk 4 miles, etc) and making it. You need to see the glass as half full! The goal as yours for the taking!
It's Spring- a time of renewed energy, new life, and HOPE! This is the perfect time to get back in your wagon, strap yourself in, and earn an A for effort and see how many wins you can achieve on the journey!! Whatever you do, just don't quit!